Capitalism Is A Beautiful Thing When It Works
- The Springboard: Trouble Looming For Perry
When Rick Perry first came onto the scene I thought there was some promise for a real conservative voice entering the republican race, and I thought there would be no way that Mitt Romney would be able to compete with that. Then I saw the debates...
- Maple Granola and the Observer
It's Thursday, November 3, 2011 and Scotty, the Observer, is in POP's house. Please prepare some Maple Granola and listen to him offer some observations about Fannie and Freddie. He always has our best interests at heart.
- Congress - Single vote - Single issue - Too Simple an idea?
In the U.S. legislative system so many things are bundled together into what is being voted on by members of Congress that often it makes for laws being passed that have negative effects. Isn't there a more transparent and simple way that could be in
November 6, 2011
Breakfastpop commented on her hub, "Maple Granola and the Observer," that "capitalism done right is a beautiful thing and the only thing that succeeds in the long run." Her observation happens to be exactly right. In my view there is simply no way of arguing around that logic. The question is then, is capitalism working? Is capitalism being done right?
I think we have issues in this department.
I say it all the time that I dislike the way that our CEO's are paid. There's an indisputable widening gap between what the CEO's get and what the average worker gets when it comes to compensation and benefits. In several hubs I've written in the past I've cited numbers which clearly show that during the greatest and longest period of economic prosperity in this country, the bulk of that benefit has not been realized by the average worker. I have often times spoken out against globalization, and the effect it has had on the average American worker's earnings power. This makes it appear that somehow I'm against capitalism, or that I am for protectionism, or even against globalization for that matter. My claim suggests that I want someone in a position of authority to start making rules about these kinds of things—namely the government.
That could not be farther from the truth.
The fact is that I like the free markets, and I think that the key to allowing capitalism to work is by making sure that the government gets out of the way, and by making it clear to the American people that the ball is in our court. The choice to reap the greatest rewards from what is arguably the best economic system in the world is ours to make. And likewise, the position that we find ourselves in right now is largely a result of our own allowing of the free markets to work against us.
At the end of the day we are the markets. Everything that happens in the system of capitalism is a direct result of what we ourselves contribute to it. There are no phantoms out there driving this whole system. There are not evil people with sinister grins cracking whips and forcing gears to be turned at their whim. There is only the response. The response is what lies at the heart of capitalism. Capitalists respond to what the system tells them is the most profitable, agreeable, and acceptable course of action.
What I'm saying is that if we want this system to start working in our favor again, then we have to be very aware of our role in that, and we need to be actively engaged in our own personal prosperity. We have choices to make when it comes to what we buy. We have choices to make when it comes to how we buy. And especially we have choices to make when it comes to how we save and invest our money, thereby empowering ourselves to have a better ability to make choice rather than have choices made for us through necessity.
For example, when you allow yourself to become indebted to the point that you could never possibly repay the debt, then you become a victim. You become powerless to control your destiny. Perhaps you must buy something made in China simply because you cannot afford the premium you'll pay for the alternative product that's made here. You become locked into what your boss says your worth because you cannot afford to tell him it's not enough, and move into a new, better paying job.
We need to reinvigorate competition. It's the only way any one of us is going to really get things back on the right track when it comes to the system of capitalism. How we do that is by getting our own personal houses in order first. Nobody should be sitting on their duffs not doing their own part to right their own situations. Nobody should be waiting for the CEO's to start raising their wages and offering better benefits. Nobody should be waiting for the government to start making demands that corporations start working for the people or else.
Being competitive means that we put ourselves in a position to dictate the status quo. We can buy American, for example, and send the message that we want American made and are willing to pay for it. We have to make sure that we educate ourselves and make ourselves more valuable to the corporations that hire us. We have to make sure that we don't spread ourselves too thin, and then be forced to accept what the boss thinks we're worth because leaving our jobs may mean we can't pay some bills. We want to make it so that we can show the employer that someone else may think you're worth more, and because as a people if we are all empowered, the level of competition for talent is more fierce. We can buy local and support smaller businesses and in turn scrape away just a bit of the market share of the big boys. You can bet they (the big boys) will do things to try and earn some of that business back.
The bottom line is something I said about capitalism in another comment on Breakfastpop's hub. I said, "We are free to screw ourselves out of its benefits as well as we are free to get something out of it."
Getting capitalism to start working again is a task for us. I think if we get to work on that idea, it's going to help to get our country, America, working again, and it will serve to restore American's faith in this great system of ours that it can work for them. Not only must we get government out of the way. We need to get out of our own way.